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Funding bid for Make’s £22m Swindon art gallery fails

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The Heritage Lottery Fund has rejected a funding bid for a proposed £22.5 million museum and art gallery in Swindon designed by Make

The Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust had been seeking £12.7 million towards the cost of the proposals to house the town’s nationally significant collection of British 20th-century modern art, which includes works by Lucian Freud, Henry Moore, LS Lowry and Graham Sutherland.

Last April Hadrian Ellory-van Dekker, a former head of collections at London’s Science Museumquit as director of the museum for personal reasons although, at the time, the local press reported that he had been frustrated by a lack of progress on the project.

The proposal, designed with Arup and Danish engineers Steensen Varming, had been billed at the centrepiece of Swindon’s new cultural quarter.

The chairman of the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust, Robert Hiscox of insurance giants Hiscox, told the BBC the trust would now explore alternative options. 

Hiscox said: ’The work done on the bid has not been wasted, as the profile of Swindon’s culturally important collections has been raised locally and nationally, and has generated huge amounts of engagement around the importance of culture to the people of Swindon.’

The practice has been contacted for comment.


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